Elder Michael Blanding suffers from allergies. Last year they didn't bother him at all. This second year in California they have been really bad. On top of that Mike has a very mild form of sleep apnea. The combo of the two has made it very difficult for Mike to sleep and he has been very sleepy and that has been his medical problem.
We were given false information before his mission in that we were told that missionaries could not have c-pap machines while on their mission. Now Mike's sleep apnea isn't bad enough for insurance to cover the cost of a c-pap machine and I have a brother who is a dentist and was willing to make a dental appliance for him. That is how we solved the problem before he left on his mission. (His sleep apnea score is a 5.0 and that is the very bottom for what insurance companies will pay for and because he hasn't had a sleep study in the past 6 months they do not recognize that he has a problem. They start to cover patience at 5.1.)
For the past month Mike has been suffering while we try to figure out what the problem is and remedy it.
Allergies are hard to fight once they have started, but I sent him a ton of medication as well as instructions on how to get better sleep. His father, who suffers just about as bad as anyone, also was sending helpful hints.
Then Sister Anderson, the mission nurse, called and we discussed what we needed to do to keep this boy on his mission. She told me that c-pap machines were allowed on the mission and asked me to get the ball rolling on getting one shipped to him.
Long story short, we have a c-pap machine on a truck on the way to his mission office. We hope this solves the problem for the next four months and that he can finish out his mission. C-pap machines are very expensive!
Here is a note from him after Sister Anderson called him and told him he was staying:
"I'm going to buy some [white shirts] here. we've been packed with work, but because of the transfer and the need, I'm going to need to go shopping for food anyway, so i'll just buy a few at Ross or something. Also, the good news is I can get a C-pap in the mission, which means... I"M NOT COMING HOME EARLY RIGHT NOW!!!! Sister Anderson was at the baptism on Sunday, so she talked to me and I told her what's been going on. She said that the only thing left she could do was talk with mission medical and I said do it, knowing that it could mean I leave the mission this week. We went to lunch at I-hop with familia pina and I got a call from sis. Anderson which I was sure meant, pack up, your going home, but instead was you can stay and have c-pap, so I'm still here and walking on Cloud 9!"
Side note: Sister Anderson and I know each other. She was the Relief Society President just before I was called back in 2000. And she called me while we were at Disneyland! I was literally 42 miles away from where Mike was and desperately wanted to go do at least a drive by, but sadly we didn't rent a car.